If you’re disappointed that it’s almost 2016 and you don’t have your jetpack yet, don’t despair. Firefighters in Dubai will be getting theirs soon and yours might not be too far behind. Calling them a “practical solution” to fighting fire among the city’s massively tall skyscrapers, the city has ordered 20 jetpacks for their first responders to use in emergency situations.

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Ali Hassan Almutawa, director of the Dubai Civil Defense Operations Department, told the BBC why they are purchasing jetpacks for their firefighters: “Sometimes we have challenges or difficulties to reach the top floors of those buildings.” The jetpacks will also have thermal imaging cameras onboard to aid in finding people inside buildings. Another potential use for the jetpacks will be as a “mule train,” officials said. In this case, jetpacks will be flown up to where people are trapped so they can don them and fly down – out of harm’s way. The jetpacks were ordered from the New Zealand company, Martin Aircraft and should be delivered next year.

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In the meantime, here in the U.S., firefighting robots seem to be the next trend. The U.S. Navy has unveiled a two-legged firefighting robot that can operate a hose in areas too hot for mere mortals. “We set out to build and demonstrate a humanoid capable of mobility aboard a ship, manipulating doors and fire hoses, and equipped with sensors to see and navigate through smoke,” said Thomas McKenna, the human-robot interaction manager for the Office of Naval Research, in a press release.

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Other improvements for human firefighters include clothing that resists heat better than current clothing and masks with embedded thermal vision which enables them to move through heat and smoke with improved visibility.

Via Business Insider

Images via Martin Jetpack